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I've currently got 9 spd DA on my rig with a 12-27 on the back. Ratios work well for most of my regular riding but I'm going to be doing some longer climbing rides this summer, so I want to switch to compact on the front. Most of the compact options I've come across specify that they are for 10 spd?? Can anyone recommend a good compact option for 9 spd? Is there anything else I need to know in making this change?

Thanks!
 

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10-speed may work

Personally, I use a FSA Gossamer ISIS compact on my Lemond Poprad which has a 9-speed 105 drive train. With the addition of a Deda "Dog Fang" to control a chain drop issue, it works just fine. I believe that mine was specifically engineered for 9-speed. There are no markings on it to indicate specifically. The current model has FSA's external BB set-up and is billed as 9/10-speed compatible.
http://road.fullspeedahead.com/fly.aspx?layout=product&taxid=53&pid=146

My understanding is that most 10-speed cranksets will work for 9-speed. You may need to shim the spacing between the chainrings but it is only a matter of (something like) 0.4mm. The spacers are available at Branford Bikes:
http://www.branfordbike.com/cgi-bin/perlshop/perlshop.cgi?ACTION=push&thispage=chains/chains3.html&ORDER_ID=146401830#item2

Personally, if you are going with a external BB set-up, I would consider a Campagnolo Ultra-Torque compact. IMHO it is the slickest external BB set-up on the market. Some may call mixing Campy and Shimano heresy. I, however, hold to no such convention. If this approach bugs you, go Shimano and shim if necessary.

With any compact set-up, do yourself a favor and include a Deda Dog Fang or other chain watcher device in the set-up from the get-go. Saves a lot of headaches...
http://www.dedaelementi.com/En/Products/Products_Detail.aspx?SearchMode=Component&SearchComponent=Accessories&ProductIDMaster=447
 

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Vick said:
I've currently got 9 spd DA on my rig with a 12-27 on the back. Ratios work well for most of my regular riding but I'm going to be doing some longer climbing rides this summer, so I want to switch to compact on the front. Most of the compact options I've come across specify that they are for 10 spd?? Can anyone recommend a good compact option for 9 spd? Is there anything else I need to know in making this change?

Thanks!
When I was running a 9sp drivetrain, I installed the Ritchey WCS compact crank. It has a 50/34.
When I went 10sp a couple years ago I retained the Ritchey. No problems running the components.
 
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